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Student Evaluations 3
added Tue April 06 2004 at 6:13 PM
"When TA's will write partial solutions on the blackboards, they are the sloppiest solutions I've ever seen. I think writing the partial solutions are good to help students get started (not necessarily complete solutions), but if I can't understand what they write, they have certainly failed in almost every instance in setting an example for neat and professional level work. I think the TA's should be held to the same expectation the students are. If they do blackboard work, it needs to be NEAT!"

I'm not very good at writing on chalkboards. If you've seen my handwriting on paper, imagine it twice as bad and in big letters. Honestly, I couldn't make it look *good* if I tried. So I don't. In fact, I generally don't even use the chalkboard, for a couple reasons, the main one being how annoying it is to have students copy the board without thinking about what they're writing.

Occasionally, if there is a large group of people wanting help with the same problem, I'll turn to the board as a way to show everybody the technique at the same time. I don't do the problem for them, though. I expect them to give me the next step along the way, and then tell them if they're doing it right. I also don't give answers when I'm working on an individual basis. If they want answers, they can look in the back of the book. I work with them until I'm sure that they understand the concepts, or I tell them what mistakes they make and what they're doing right.

Perhaps that's a contributing factor for the low score on explanations... I don't just tell them to do this, this, this, this, and this. I try to help them explore the problem and understand the intricacies of what they're doing on each step along the way. Either I'm not succeeding at helping them see, or they apparently really just don't care about anything other than the answers.

On the next homework assignment, I fully plan to go into my shift and immediately erase the board and ask if there are any questions. Yes, I know that I personally would be annoyed with a TA that did that, but I'm sick of people thoughtlessly copying the solutions.

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